JOEL ROSARIO, SMILING TIGER, WINNER: “He (trainer, Jeff Bonde) told me to send him, but he stumbled leaving the gate so I let him settle and relax. He’s a nice horse, a classy horse. He showed today he can relax and he can run from off the pace.”


JEFF BONDE, SMILING TIGER, WINNER: “The guy (Joel Rosario) rode a professional race. He did what he had to do. When the situation arose, the horse responded to him. There’s not much to say.”
Asked what might be next: “We ran the horse enough (three times this meet). We’ll take a little spacing. I’m not sure. He’s nominated to Dubai (Golden Shaheen on March 26) but he has a chance as a stallion prospect, so my big goal—whether it’s the owners goal or not—is to run the horse in the Metropolitan Mile (Grade I, Belmont Park, $500,000 on Memorial Day, May 30). There might be one race before that but I don’t know what it’ll be.”

NOTES: The winning owners are Alan Klein of Burlingame and Phil Lebherz of San Mateo.